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Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 8 April 2021
Ultra Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Course View, we added a new guidance message to inform instructors about the new conditional release users & groups feature. The message was seen on documents by students as well, but it was only intended for users entitled to modify content availability. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Ultra Course View, when a student provided peer feedback that included an image, this attachment failed to download or wasn't even visible when the feedback was reviewed. We've fixed the issue.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Delay for Continuous Delivery update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

As part of our commitment to release quality, we’re delaying the Blackboard Learn SaaS 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.18+b85c058) update to client Test/Staging servers, previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2021. We’ll update this note as soon as we’ve identified a new target date.


Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.17+81ba8fd) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra and Original Course Views, all course content pages displayed an error if the Blackboard Store B2 was installed and set to be available or unavailable. We've fixed the issue and removed the Blackboard Store B2 (which reached its end of life in 2016) with this upgrade.

Learn SaaS release 3900.10.0: Update to client Test/Stage environments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Ultra Course View, Original Course View

We’re applying an updated version of 3900.10.0 (full release number 3900.10.0-rel.11+c24ca4f) to client Test/Staging environments on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

Updates in this version include:

  • In the Ultra Experience, when questions were imported from an Original unit, some of them got randomly and unnecessarily duplicated in the Ultra Question Banks. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original and Ultra Experiences, the Change Hostname option within the Admin authentication SAML settings returned the user to the Admin Panel page instead of changing the host name. We've fixed the issue.
  • In the Original Experience, when a Calculated Formula question was used in a test, if the answers used the exponential form (E-2, E-4, etc), with significant figures expressing the result, some right answers were marked as wrong, depending of the position of the decimal point. Also, the correct answer format field wasn't verified, students were able to answer a question with an incorrect format and the system would mark it as correct. We've fixed both issues.

API updates - 3900.10.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

Add lastLogin filter to User Collection Get endpoint: We’ve made some noteworthy API updates, including:

  • Users of APIs now have the ability to filter user requests based on the lastLogin parameter.

For more information about our Rest Public APIs, please refer to: https://developer.blackboard.com/portal/displayApi


Highlight on bug fixes

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Original Course View

The bug fixes in this Learn release include:

  • In the Original Course View, automatically disable notifications for users with > n enrollments (with a default value for n = 500) has been enabled. Now admins are able to automatically disable the generation of new notifications for users when the user has more than a certain configurable number of enrollments. Note that Institutions that create large enrollment volumes for support staff should use Institutional Hierarchy instead.

  • In the Original Course View, in the responsive Mobile View for the 2016 theme, Instructors, teaching assistants, course builders, graders and facilitators couldn't see the Instructor Gear icon which, in turn, contains the Student Preview and Edit Mode buttons. We've fixed the issue.

  • In the Original Course View, a student could receive a past due notification for an on-time submission sporadically. We've put in place proactive measures to monitor this behavior in order to fix it in a future release.

You can view all maintenance items in Behind the Blackboard. Our Known Issue articles provide information for individual bug fixes, and may include bug descriptions and which Learn versions were affected. You can filter bug fixes by SaaS release for easier navigation. View the 3900.10.0 maintenance issues on Behind the Blackboard.


Assignment with Peer Review for Qualitative Peer Assessment

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we started to implement the developments we've projected to improve the Peer Review Assessments experience. This is a synthetized description of what we've prepared for this release.

Peer assessment is a practice becoming more common because it encourages development of students’ critical thinking abilities, gives them practice in critique of others in a professional manner, and allows for measurement of students’ analysis and communication skills. With this release, qualitative peer review can be enabled for an Assignment in the Ultra Course View. It’s simple for instructors and students to use, and has the following features:

  • Set different due dates for the initial assignment submission and the completion of peer review: Instructors can set how many reviews are expected from each student. Peers are assigned randomly and automatically.
  • Late submitters and reviewers remain part of the task and can continue to participate: Instructors can clearly see who was late. This is a huge improvement over the implementation in Original Course View and superior to implementations found it other learning management systems where students who are late on anything can no longer participate.
  • Tracking: Instructors can track students’ progress toward completion.
  • Rubrics: Students can see the rubric that will optionally be used for the grade. Instructors can grade using a rubric.
  • Complete, single view: When grading, the instructor can see all this information in a single view: the student’s submission, feedback provided by the students’ peers, and the feedback the current student gave to their peers.
  • Anonymous mode for students: The identities of peers are hidden from students but viewable by instructors.
  • Censoring: Instructors can hide reviews deemed inappropriate or harmful.

As this is a first release of the Peer Review option for Assignments, there are some relevant use cases that aren’t part of this development, but are planned as future improvements. Some of them include:

  • Quantitative peer reviews: While a peer can view a rubric for guidance on providing feedback, the rubric can’t be used by students to provide a score.
  • Non-anonymous mode for students: Names of peers are always hidden from students. If an instructor wants students to know who they evaluate, it is necessary to request students to add their names to their submissions. Hidden names from instructors are not supported in this release.
  • Groups: There is no direct group support yet. However, because the review period excludes non-submitters automatically, it’s possible to set up multiple assignments with Peer Review enabled and set Conditional Availability by group membership. This way, assigned peers will always be members within a student’s group. Group submissions aren’t supported in this release.
  • Multiple prompts with essay questions: In this release, only a single text prompt is supported for an Assignment with Peer Review. If there are multiple topics to which s student is to respond and receive feedback, those should all be outlined in a single prompt or broken up into several assignments.
  • Separate grades for students’ submissions and their reviews: In this release, there is a single grade and rubric for an assignment. If the instructor wishes to communicate different scores for those two parts of the process, those can be outlined in the feedback.

Conditional availability by users or groups

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Course View

In the Ultra Course View, we are pleased to announce the inclusion of a highly requested feature: conditional release by users and groups.

From this version on, Instructors and other roles with elevated rights, will be able to grant differentiated access to content based on their ultimate goals. As a new option to the conditional availability rules, already present in Ultra courses (date/time and performance-based rules), faculty can now allow certain students to have access to specific content while selecting one or both existing rules mentioned above.

This new feature will be an incredible addition to those who want to create remedial paths to certain students, give different content to undergraduate and postgraduate students in a course, among other use cases.


Disable notifications for users with high enrollments

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In both Original and Ultra Course Views, we've improved the timeliness and performance of notifications for all users (including emails, push notifications, Stream, and MyBlackboard) by no longer generating these notifications for users with more than 500 enrollments.

A user with this large volume of course enrollments will still have access to all course resources but won’t receive notifications regardless of their settings.

Typically, users enrolled in so many courses are support staff or instructional designers. We recommend administrators to configure these users to be node administrators instead, with privileges to enroll and unenroll themselves from any course in the appropriate Institutional Hierarchy nodes, and with access to all the courses they may need without enroll them. Enrollment availability or enablement states are not considered for a user to count as to have over 500 enrollment records.


Embed LTI Content in Original Content Editor

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Original Experience, Original Course View

In the Original Experience and Original Course View, the ability to support access to third-party content within the Content Editor by the use of LTI is an important milestone for institutions, partners, and tool creators who look to transition from Building Block mashups to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard from IMS Global. Appropriate LTI course tools will appear for instructors, course builders, teaching assistants, and students in the Add Content menu as additional tools alongside Building Block mashup tools. Two methods are supported: either the tool can add a link in the editor, or if the tool designates that the resource should be embedded, it will be inserted into an iframe in the Content Editor and rendered automatically.


Rich Text Editor improvements

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience

In the Ultra Experience, the Rich Text Editor improvements contemplated for this release are related to paragraph format change and allow the creation of more rich and customizable pages. They include:

  • Clear formatting
  • Text alignment

  • Line height

  • Undo

 


Scripts for Learn SaaS to bulk download course archives

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.10.0 | Release to Production 1 April 2021
Ultra Experience, Original Experience

In order to comply with data retention policies and reduce utilized space, administrators often want to move course archives to another location for longer-term storage. In SaaS, course archives are created automatically, and daily back-ups of course archives are stored in the cloud. We’ve included these scripts written in Python in the System Logs and Auto Archive Settings pages to allow admins to copy archives locally or to an AWS S3 bucket prior to deleting them from Learn.



Looking for older release notes?

Check out the Blackboard Learn Release Notes Archive for more information on past releases.